Founded in 1933 as Monmouth Junior College, it became Monmouth College in 1956, and later Monmouth University in 1995 after receiving its charter.
There are about 4,300 full-time and 444 part-time undergraduate and 1,750 graduate students, as well as 251 full-time faculty members. About 73% of faculty members hold Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees in their field of study. The university's student-to-faculty ratio is about 15:1. Because of the university's relatively small student population, class sizes are capped between 20 and 35 and no classes are taught by teaching assistants, although more than 50% of classes are taught by adjuncts. 44% of students live on-campus. Most of Monmouth's student body is drawn from the northeastern United States, although students from 29 states and 28 foreign countries add to the school's diversity.
The centerpiece of the Monmouth University campus is Wilson Hall. Originally, it was the site of the Shadow Lawn mansion, constructed in 1903 and housed 52 rooms. United States President Woodrow Wilson stayed in the mansion during his campaign in summer of 1916.
After Shadow Lawn was destroyed by a fire in 1927, the building that would become Wilson Hall was built as a residence for Mr & Mrs. Hubert Templeton Parson. Mr. Parson was the former head of F.W. Woolworth Company. The building was designed by Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele. Abele is regarded as the first professional African American architect.
Monmouth University has a variety of on-campus clubs and organizations, including the campus television station — Hawk TV — and the college radio station — WMCX-FM. WMCX-FM was the first media outlet to announce the death of Bob Marley in America.
The Department of Art and Design is an active participant in the arts of Monmouth. It maintains multiple galleries for exhibiting creative works of students, faculty, and staff, as well as practicing artists and designers. Information on gallery exhibitions and other events and activities associated with art and design can be found on the Arts of Monmouth website.
Monmouth's athletic teams are known as the Hawks. The school competes as a Division I (NCAA) school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, with football competing as a FCS independent in the 2013 season before joining the Big South Conference in 2014. Monmouth fields the following sports at the Division I level: baseball, basketball (men's and women's), bowling (women's) cross country (men's and women's), field hockey, football, golf (men's and women's), indoor track (men's and women's), lacrosse (women's and men's), soccer (men's and women's), softball, tennis (men's and women's), and track & field (men's and women's).
Monmouth University (then still Monmouth College), added football to the school's ledger of sports teams in 1993. The team's first game was played on September 25 of that year. The first points in school history were scored on a bizarre defensive play by intercepting and returning a two-point conversion.
A new Multipurpose Activity Center opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 16, 2009. The 153,200-square-foot (14,230 m2) Center currently serves as the primary indoor athletic structure. It houses a 4,100 seat competition arena; a 200-meter; six-lane indoor track; locker rooms; educational and conference space; ground-level bookstore; and fitness center. The new facility adjoins the William T. Boylan Gymnasium a 2,500-seat arena built in 1965.
Monmouth has been in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in 1996, 2001, 2004, and 2006. Monmouth won their first NCAA men's basketball tournament game in 2006 when they beat Hampton University in that year's play-in game. It was the first time a Northeast Conference school won a game in the NCAA tournament since 1983 when Robert Morris University won in the opening round. Monmouth's men and women's soccer teams as well as baseball and women's lacrosse and men's golf team have also reached the NCAA tournament. The Monmouth Men's Soccer team is the only sport on campus to ever advance to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. The men's soccer team also hosted three first round NCAA Tournament games on The Great Lawn, in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Monmouth's men's soccer team has even been ranked as one of the top teams in the country. In September 2010, Monmouth attained the #4 spot on the NSCAA/HendrickCars.com National Rankings and has been ranked in the national top 25 every single week for the past two seasons.